Melania Trump has hit back at the Daily Mail and filed a $150 million lawsuit against them and blogger Webster Tarpley for making "false and defamatory statements" about having been an “escort” when she first came to America as an unknown model in the mid-90s.
Melania's attorney Charles Harder calls the reports: "100 percent false and tremendously damaging to her personal and professional reputation."
He added: "'Defendants' actions are so egregious, malicious and harmful to Mrs. Trump that her damages are estimated at $150m."
He has filed the complaint before the Circuit Court for Montgomery County in Maryland.
The Daily Mail immediately issued a retraction, saying: “The article did not intend to state or suggest that Mrs. Trump ever worked as an 'escort' or in the 'sex business.' the Daily Mail newspaper regrets any such misinterpretation.”
Tarpley issued a retraction a week before the lawsuit, saying: “While the tarpley.net editors, writers and contributors did not generate said rumors, the briefing in question was not diligent in fact-checking or maintaining a healthy distance between innuendo and fact.”
On September 1, Tarpley addressed the suit on his website saying: "Melania Trump’s lawsuit against me is without merit. Mrs. Trump is a public figure actively engaged in the Trump for president campaign. We are confident that Mrs. Trump will not be able to meet her high burden of proving the statements published about her on my website were defamatory in any way.
"Her lawsuit is a blatant attempt to intimidate not only me but journalists of all stripes into remaining silent with regard to public figures. This lawsuit is a direct affront to First Amendment principles and free speech in our democratic society."